Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622

Red Class

Fanfare 12.12.20

12.12.20

Hello Red Class Families,

We enjoyed a busy week piecing together a masterpiece! If you like masks slipping down faces, slightly squeaky singing from the teacher and a lot of sweet faces, then you’re in for a treat! In fact, at one point, I was told my voice was ‘a little dominant’ by the filmmaker. Mariah Carey move over. Mrs Webb is the Queen of Christmas.

In PE, we explored the meaning of ‘travel’, ‘follow’ and ‘amazed’ from our topic vocabulary map. We followed a star around the playground and travelled in different ways. Finally, we danced with a partner to create a short phrase. We considered how to look amazed through our facial expressions and movements.

In Phonics, we discovered the sound, action and song for ‘j’, ‘v’, ‘w’ and ‘x’. You should find matching letter cards in your little blue book. Please draw or cut and stick a picture for each letter sound. We also tried hard to discriminate ‘b’ and ‘d’. We used photo cards of mouth shapes and a picture of a ‘bed’ to match the correct sound to the corresponding letter shape.

Hopefully, in your bookbags, you should find a Christmas card made by your little one, a calendar, Christmas cards from friends, a name card to support name identification and writing and a b/d photo card to support recognition at home. In fact, the latter could be used as a bookmark. We received quite a few packs of cards on Friday, so we’ll send them out next week.

In Maths, we compared and measured length and height. The children compared items in the classroom using appropriate vocabulary e.g. ‘short’, ‘long’, ‘longer’ and ‘longest’ for length. Later in the week, the children used cubes and wax crayons to measure the length of items. Can you find and use measuring equipment at home? You could compare the length of your family’s shoes or the height of your favourite teddies.

In RE lessons (Religious Education), we discussed Christian beliefs and practices around the festival of Christmas. We talked about how the children celebrate Christmas and how our experiences are similar and different. We introduced the children to the Jewish festival of Hannukah which is also celebrated at this time. Throughout the year, and throughout their time at Blackwell, the children will learn about different religions, reflect on their own thoughts and feelings and learn to appreciate and respect the ideas and beliefs of people in their community and around the world.

As part of our Christmas play, we’ve been singing ‘Follow the Star’ and on 21st December, Jupiter and Saturn will align to form a very bright ‘Christmas star’. The best time to see it should be an hour after sunset. Thank you, Mrs Flynn, for letting us know.

We believe some Red Class elves have been working very hard recently. Yesterday, we received some beautiful gifts and they’re currently under my tree ready for the big day. On behalf of myself and the team, we would like to say a big ‘thank you’. We know life, in the middle of COVID-19, is very tricky and we appreciate all the support you’ve shown our little Red Class team.

Enjoy a lovely weekend and we’ll see you on Monday for the last week of term and Christmas Story Night (5.30pm-7pm).

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Miss Barber, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 4.12.20

4.12.20

Hello Red Class Families,

It was a wet Forest School session but we made the most of it with lots of games and activities. We started the session with a co-operation game, called ‘sticky elbows’, where the children moved around the site with their partner by joining elbows. We used other body parts too. We discovered how to use materials from the forest to play games. We used sticks, leaves and pine cones to play ‘three in a row’. We also used the loppers to trim the holly. Today, was our final Forest School session for this half term. The children can wear their usual school uniform for the remaining days of term.  

In Maths, we recapped how to make numbers between 6 and 10 using the ‘5 and …’ rule. We used a timer to see how quickly we could make each number and the children were very speedy. We also practised writing numerals using rhymes and pictures. The children created great numeral animals by using a different numeral for each body part. We covered 1, 4 and 7 (straight line numerals) and we’ve just started curved numerals (3). Here are the rhymes so far:

1 – Start at the top and down we run. That’s the way we make 1.

3 - Around the tree and around the tree. That’s the way we make 3.

4 - Down and across and down some more. That’s the way we make 4.

7 - Across the sky and down from heaven. That’s the way we make 7.

Literacy sessions focused on the Christmas story and we identified and talked about interesting words, such as ‘amazed’ and explained words that we might take for granted that the children know, for example, ‘travel’ and ‘follow’. The children enjoyed using Grandma Webb’s knitted nativity in the classroom.

If you would like to write Christmas cards for the class, please email the office and we can pop a list of names into the book bag.

Have a great weekend,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson, Mrs Flynn and Miss Barber.

Friday Fanfare 27.11.20

27.11.20

Hello Red Class Families,

Thank you for attending our teaching and learning workshop. It was lovely to ‘see’ you all and to explain how we support reading, writing and number work at school. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email the office and I’ll call you as soon as possible.

It was the last week of our topic, ‘Tell Me a Story’ and we created a story sack for the Nursery children. In our art lessons, we explored textiles and developed our shaping, joining and dyeing skills. We created animals for our story sack by wrapping and securing wool around a card and later created scenery by dyeing fabric with food colouring. Some children added a story map to the sack or drew a picture of an animal. We even added our role play puppets. We will give the Nursery children their story sack, next week, when we sing together.

On the topic of singing, we’ve started Christmas early! ‘Little Donkey’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ have been filling the classroom and corridors as we prepare for our Christmas play. We’ve even practised animal and star dances too. Just a reminder that we’re not asking for tights and tops this year, so it will be a nice surprise when your little one appears as a fluffy sheep or the donkey!

This week, Miss Barber wanted to say ‘hello’ too. She wanted to let you know that, “During play and explore the children have spent lots of time creating junk models. There have been some amazing rockets and puppets amongst other fantastic creations, which the children have enjoyed making. Our next step is to think about how we can improve our wonderful creations and make changes to them throughout the week”.

We will keep the children’s junk modelling in school, until Friday, so they can evaluate their work and make little changes throughout the week. So, on Fridays expect to see the contents of my recycling bin in your book bag. Sorry! I did try to convince one little boy that his cardboard box, with an assortment of holes, might need a bit of extra work at school. He was very persuasive and said he had the tools for the job at home.

We had a lovely time at Forest School with the children really engaged in their play and explore time.From making lean-to shelters with branches, trust walks, bug hunts and everything in between, it was a lovely morning. It was also a day for nature as we spotted a magpie on the field, robins flying through the site and a squirrel near the park. 

In Phonics we practised spelling CVC words with phase 2 letters and sounds and we listened carefully to the sounds in different positions in the word. At home, you could ask your child to spell a word with magnetic letters or letter cards and leave a space for them to fill. So, if the word was bug, you might leave a gap between b and g and ask your child to select the missing grapheme (letter). Don’t worry if your child is finding it hard to discriminate ‘b’ and ‘d’. This is very common at this stage.

In Maths, we used objects to find the difference in subtraction problems. We created subtraction number stories about jungle animals and used a large ten-frame to take away a number of animals. Some children were able to ‘see’ the answer, other children decided to count the animals that remained and some children could recall the answer mentally. We all learn in different ways and your confidence to explain ‘your way’ is getting better every day.

So, after all that learning, we need to rest! Enjoy your weekend together and I’ll see you next week for our ‘Christmas’ topic when you’ll be finding out about the part you’re playing!

Take care,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson, Mrs Flynn and Miss Barber.

Friday Fanfare 20.11.20

20.11.20

Hello Red Class Families,

‘Change the rules’ was a great success. From a couple of wiggling superheroes in our Zoom dance assembly to extra play time, painted nails, funny socks, tasty snacks and everything in between. I did a double take in snack time when I spotted Batman eating a doughnut. It was great fun and enjoyed by all.

I’m sorry I haven’t seen you at home time on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons this week. It should be back to normal next week (famous last words), as my little boy returns to school after a closed bubble. For Red Class, it’s been business as usual as the children have seen me every day until club time. Thank you for my lovely cards and pictures. They’ve really brightened my day.

As always, the children have been busy in the classroom filming their rainbow dance and song, learning about 3D shapes (sphere, cylinder, cube and cuboid) and recapping all phase 2 letter sounds. For those who are up to date with their phonics books, you can have a little rest from drawing pictures until we start Phase 3. If you haven’t drawn any pictures to match the sounds, please try a few pages this weekend.

In Geography, we considered the question, “Where is the best place for a holiday?” and we used some of the places from our story, “There is a Tribe of Kids”, as a starting point. We researched Antarctica and the Amazon Rainforest by finding each place on the world map and looking at videos and photographs. This helped us to ask questions and to describe and talk about each place. The Amazon Rainforest seemed the most popular choice, but one little boy thought building snowmen in Antarctica would be a lot more fun. Our learning also helped us to talk about our own experiences of lovely holidays in Cornwall, Cardiff and further afield.

We’ve also started learning Christmas dances ready for our Christmas production. This year, we’re working alongside the Nursery to bring you, ‘The Nativity’. It will be full of all the usual Early Years ‘moments’ with gifts rolling down aisles, shepherds losing their sheep, pinned tea-towels and a few musical notes out of place. As we’re filming at school, we’ve decided not to ask for tights and the children’s costumes will be provided by school. So, all you need to do is to wait for the amazing DVD!

Miss Barber has also had a busy week opening a new area in Red Class. The woodwork area proved very popular with the children. They enjoyed learning how to use the hammer and nails safely. We’ll be making tables and chairs in no time.

I’m looking forward to ‘seeing’ you all Wednesday for our Early Years Workshop through Zoom. This event is for parents only and it outlines how we teach early reading, writing and maths at school and how you can support your child’s progress. Mrs Moss will be clicking through the screens to keep me to time and I will send home a handout with the main points.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Miss Barber, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 13.11.20

13.11.20

Hello Red Class Families,

Thank you for raising money for Children in Need. We talked about Pudsey and why we were raising money and joined Joe Wicks for a quick exercise routine! The children looked great in their colourful clothes. Thank you, Red Class!

At Forest School, we played ‘Beat the Teacher.’ The children found hiding places in the wood before returning to ‘camp’ without the teacher spotting them. Mrs Lewis (Forest School volunteer) didn’t spot a single child! We then listened to a story about the sycamore tree and how it was carved to make a Welsh love spoon. The children also worked with a partner, to ‘meet a tree,’ by guiding each other around the forest to their favourite trees.

This week, we discovered ‘ll’, ‘ss’ and ‘ff’ where two letters make one sound. We use the same actions as ‘l’, ‘s’ and ‘f’. I’ve added a word list to your Phonics books. We’ve now completed all the letters and sounds in Phase 2. We will spend the next few weeks consolidating learning and developing confidence to segment (spell) and blend (read) using these sounds. Home reading books will also focus on phase 2 letters and sounds.

It was all about trees in Write Dance. The children danced like a tree with a trunk, branches, leaves and fruit using straight lines, curved lines, garlands, arcades and numeral 6 for fruit! The children created trees using a range of media including chalk and felt tip pens. Visit our You Tube channel to see ‘The Tree’ dance and drawings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UnheeArBX0

We were very busy finding totals in Maths as we added two numbers together. As well as counting objects and pictures, we also tried hard to think about what we know. For example, if we see 3 and 3 then we know the total will be 6 using our doubling knowledge. We’ve also started using objects to make bar models to help with simple word problems. So, if I bought 3 chocolate cupcakes and Mrs Hampton bought 2 strawberry cupcakes, we would have a total of 5 cakes. See Parent App for an example bar model. 

In our mental starters, we played counting tennis and you can play this game at home. Use your hand as a tennis racket, serve an imaginary ball to your grown up and say ‘0’. Your grown up will say ‘1’ and you keep counting! Remember to count back as well.

Finally, as a class, we needed a few reminders to help listening and concentration this week. So, get plenty of rest this weekend and you’ll be ready for another good week of learning. 1.40pm collection is also an option. Just let Mrs Moss know on the gate.

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Miss Barber, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 6.11.20

6.11.20

Hello Red Class Families,

I would like to welcome Miss Barber to the Red Class team. Miss Barber is a student teacher training through our teaching school. She joined the children for their first week at school and she can’t believe how much they’ve changed over the last half term.

It’s been a colourful rainbow week in Red Class. From learning a rainbow-themed song, written by Christianne Cutler, our virtual ‘resident’ musician, to learning a rainbow dance inspired by Mrs Hampton’s yoga. The children were surprised to discover indigo and violet as they created beautiful rainbow collages for our display. We look forward to sharing our rainbow project with you soon.

Maths learning focused on 6, 7, 8 and 9. We discovered how to write each numeral and how to match it to the correct number of objects. We also compared each number to 5 and 10 and explained how many more or how many less we would need. For example, 9 is one fewer than 10 and it’s easier to make 10 in our ten-frame and take 1 away. We also discovered that 5 and 4 more also make a total of 9. The children are growing in confidence to find doubles when making a number. For example, putting 4 and 4 in their egg box to make 8. Well done Red Class.

Phonics sessions were based on ‘h’, ‘b’, ‘f’ and ‘l’. We’re encouraging the children to read the following words automatically: I, the, to, no, go. We also encourage the children to read some CVC words by sight. So, if they see ‘can’ several times on a page, they should blend the sounds together and then read the word automatically next time. This will support the children’s pace and fluency.

Next week, it’s time for our ‘Tell Me a Story’ topic. As part of dilemma-based learning, the children will meet a new friend who will pose a problem for us to solve as a class. Dilemma-based learning helps the children to feel invested in the topic. It provides purpose and meaning to their learning. Further information will follow next week. During this topic, we will learn knowledge and skills to make a story sack for the Nursery children.

Please keep your little blue phonics books in your book bags so we can add new letter cards each week. Well done to all those children drawing pictures to match their letter sounds. We’ve changed the reading books early this week. We will change them every Monday, but you can keep the book given out tonight a little bit longer. It’s an early Christmas present! Some children, who would benefit from revisiting some of our earlier sounds, will receive a second book on Monday.

Enjoy a peaceful weekend and we look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Best wishes, Mrs Webb, Miss Barber, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 23.10.20

23.10.20

Hello Red Class,

Well done for completing your first half term in Reception. We’ve achieved many things together. It feels like two minutes ago you were walking along the snake for your first day at school. Now, you’re reading words, counting objects, making friends and learning new skills every day.

This week, we recapped all the letters and sounds taught so far. We thought about garland and arcade loops in Write Dance as we discovered ‘The Train’ and you created fantastic train pictures using straight and curved lines. Visit our You Tube channel to see ‘The Train’ dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkvM-baoqZI

It’s been a very sporty week too. We developed balance skills in PE using various equipment (balance track, skipping ropes, golf balls, spoons and bean bags). Later in the week, we joined our first ‘Zoom’ assembly where we took part in the Wake and Shake competition. Sadly, it wasn’t our turn to win the cup, but we did try very hard. Well done Yellow Class for being the wake and shake champions this half term. We’ll be dancing to S Club 7 after the holiday (Don’t Stop Moving). We finished the week with our sponsored mile event. I’ve never heard so many giggles in a long-distance event. I think running in wellies might be the way forward! The next Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe might just be in Red!

On Thursday, we collected all the reading books to get them ready for the new half term. You should find a comic, called ‘Rick the Duck’, in your book bag and a matching words and pictures sheet where you need to cut out the cards and then mix and match. You might also like to play a few online games using the website: www.phonicsplay.co.uk including ‘Buried Treasure’ and ‘Picnic on Pluto’ . Both games can be found in the ‘Free Resources’ area.

When we return, our new topic will be, ‘Tell me a story’. I’ll keep our class story a surprise for now. So, until then, enjoy sharing your favourite stories at home and you can tell me all about them when we return. I remember seeing lots of your favourites on your ‘All About Me’ cards.

I hope you enjoy a lovely half term holiday with lots of time for rest and play and when you return there will be a few changes to spot in the classroom and some new toys and equipment for you to explore.

Lots of love,

 

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 16.10.20

16.10.20

Hello Red Class Families,

Each week, we focus on a particular foundation subject and this week it was Geography (known as ‘Understanding the World’ in Early Years). We focused on Forest School as a special place and used photographs to name key features. We used our knowledge to make a Forest School small world area complete with trees, a fire circle and the ancient log! We finished the week by visiting Forest School. We played ‘Oak, Oak, Ash’ to learn how to move around the fire circle and we collected leaves to make leaf people and animals for our puppet show at school.

We read words with ck, e, u and r and used robot arms to spell words too. Each day, we learn the song, story and action to accompany each sound. We’re working really hard to use pure sounds at school. The children will find reading and spelling easier if they use pure sounds. The following link provides examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTe5_Em0BHQ

It was time for 2D shapes in Maths. We looked for circles, rectangles, squares and triangles in the environment and created shape pictures. This linked nicely to our Write Dance work as we created robots using 2D shapes. The children joined their shapes and tried really hard to retrace lines.

You will find a letter for Christmas/celebration cards in your book bag tonight. The children used their mark making skills to create patterned backgrounds with a robin at the centre. We chose a robin theme as our class story ‘Good Night Owl’ features lots of different birds including a robin. Each child has made their own unique card. We’ll keep them safe at school until we reach December. The letter explains how you can order cards for your family and friends.

Thank you for joining me for parent consultations this week. It was lovely to share the children’s progress.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 9.10.20

9.10.20 

Hello Red Class Families,

Now we’re super speedy in the mornings (this changes a few hours later), we’re completing name writing activities as part of the morning routine. We teach the children to use cursive letters starting from the line and focus on the letters in their name. We also encourage them to hold their pencil with a tripod grip. If you have a few minutes for name writing, we would really appreciate it. We can talk about how to support letter formation for name writing during parent consultations.

This morning, we made journey bracelets using natural materials at Forest School. Encouraging the children to collect leaves and seeds from the forest floor, provided a good starting point to talk about the forest. Around the fire circle, we shared the story of ‘Grandfather Oak and the Little Acorn’ and this inspired us to look for oak trees during play and explore time. We finished the session with a drink, snack and reflection time where we talked about our learning at Forest School.

We read words with g, o, c and k this week. The children were very good at using their spelling robots to spell words using these sounds too. We use special robot cards in school where the children add letters to their robot’s teeth to make words. We move our arms like a robot (one movement for each sound) to help segment the letter sounds in each word. We also like a game called ‘Draw it’ where we read a word on the board together e.g. ‘cat’ and then draw a picture to match. You can try this game at home using the letter sounds covered so far.

To match our robots in Phonics, we discovered the Write Dance robot this week. We danced like a robot making straight lines in the air horizontally and vertically and moved around the carpet like a robot too. The robot dance helps us to develop co-ordination as we move both hands at the same time but in opposite directions. At the end of the week, we created a robot head. You can watch the example video for the robot here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHMsJkiZbmY

We will continue with our robot work next week where we’ll add his body, arms and legs.

A couple of weeks ago, we handed out our self-isolation home learning packs. Unfortunately, the link I provided for Jolly Phonics songs has been removed from You Tube. Please use this link to practise the actions and songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTqfptkcpcY

In Maths, we used our comparing skills to see if Grandad had ‘more’ or ‘fewer’ cakes than his friends and we used our cake cards to begin to find 1 more and 1 less. We continued to work on positional and directional language through games such as ‘Simon Says’ and through cross-curricular activities. For example, in PE, we worked around an obstacle course moving under, over, on top, between and around a range of equipment.

We also count every day at school. At the moment, we’re reinforcing numbers 0-10, but we do extend learning, where necessary, in play and explore time and through routine activities, for example, counting all the children at Forest School.

I look forward to speaking to you next week for parent consultations. Have a happy weekend.

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx